The debut album from this Norwegian trio is aptly titled – for much of it they sound as though they, not their instruments, are plugged in at the mains. With a background in classical, jazz and improv, what they do on Wired is operate at the interface between drone-rock, post-rock, ambient, jazz and more, with electrifying results.
Some tracks feature the kind of eerie sci-fi sounds and effects you’d expect of a leftfield electronica album; on others, such as Descent, the keyboards are pure prog, the guitars total metal. Then again, the fluid drumming over the slow-building repetitions of opener Glass suggests an updated, instrumental Can circa Soon Over Babaluma.
With their guitars, bass, drums and synths, as well as cymbals, strings and effects boxes, Cakewalk can clearly play. Individually they’re dexterous, and they lock together impressively, shifting between near-silence and squall with ease.
There’s a looseness to their performances, but at the same time there is a sense of structure to the music. And its uses are seemingly varied. You can imagine moshing to it, or appreciating it sagely for the sheer intricacy of the playing. Excellent.